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First Look: Sony KDL-W850B series: Big TV with a picture quality (w)edge
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First Look: Sony KDL-W850B series: Big TV with a picture quality (w)edge

3:11 /

The wedge-shaped design of the Sony KDL-W850B makes for a unique look, and in addition to a good picture helps justify a relatively high price.

Hi, I'm David Casmeyer, senior editor from cnet. And next to me is Sony's 60 inch KDL-60 W850B. This is Sony's sort of mid range TV for 2014. It's a 60 inch LCD. There is also a 70 inch size in the series. One of the first things you'll notice about this TV is it's the strange design from the side. Sony calls it a wedge shaped design. The TV kind of tapers toward the top, and the screen angles back a little bit. The whole effect is a lot thicker than most LED based LCD's out there, but on the flip side, Sony says you get better sound. We did test the sound quality in this TV, and while it does sound better than some of those LCD's out there, it's really not spectacular, and a dedicated sound [INAUDIBLE] to a lot better sound. Moving on to the design, this TV's scene from the front, is relatively normal. The only real difference is these little feet here on either side. This is a new design thing that a lot of TV manufacturers are doing this year. It improves the stability of the TV. Sony allows you to actually take these feet off and move them toward the middle if you want a more traditional look, or you don't have a wide enough piece of furniture to accommodate this TV's width. Aside from that, the TV's design is relatively basic, with a nice, thin frame around the edge of the screen and a pretty much matte black finish. Sony's feature set is pretty extensive on this TV. It includes the smart TV suite that it has all the apps you'd expect, although I did find them a little bit more difficult to find, for example, Netflix is kinda hidden in the bottom, along with Amazon. Sony's content, on the other hand, is pushed right to the front. So as soon as you click on the smart TV suite, you're asked to choose from some Sony videos, from their on line video on demand service, as well as music from Sony and other services. I'd like to see a little more easy access to those apps like Netflix and Amazon, that people use a little more frequently. Finding a visuals lab is also a little bit difficult because of this massive fire hose of apps that are not really categorized that well, and there's hundreds to choose from. Of course, once you do find it, you can add it to Sony's favorite app screen. Another feature on this TV is 3D compatibility. Sony does throw in two pairs of 3D glasses, it's the active variety. We did find the 3D on the set was a little bit disappointing. We're asking Sony what the problem was. We noticed there were some artifacts there that we don't normally see on 3D. Perhaps this, the company will push out a fix, but in the mean time, don't buy this TV for its 3D capability. Picture quality on the 850-B is very good. It has nice deep black levels, not quite as deep as some of the better TVs we've seen. It's contrast is also a little bit less, because, in achieving those deep blacks, the TV actually tends to mute highlights a little bit. So you have slightly less contrast. Color is very accurate, again, there's a little bit of an orange tint to the red, but, really not enough to make a huge deal. Thanks to it's smart screen, the TV is excellent in a bright room, and it does mute those reflections very well, which is very important on a TV this large. Connectivity is ample on the Sony, with four HDMI, two USB, a component video input and a standard video input. You also get an IR blast included with this TV, that will control your cable box, if you wanna take advantage of that functionality. The TV includes a standard remote, but Sony does have the option to add a fifty dollar touch pad clicker, if you do wanna get around the menus a little bit faster. So in sum, aside from 3D, this TV's picture quality is very good. It is a little bit more expensive than some of the sixty inch TV's out there but, if you're in this range, and you like the design, definitely worth a look. That's a quick peak at Sony's KBL W850B series. I'm David Kasmire from CNet. [MUSIC]

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